The study was performed to assess the infection risk of German police officers on predominantly tropical deployments, mostly United Nations missions, with gastrointestinal pathogens.
Police officers were offered PCR-based screening for gastrointestinal pathogens before and after deployment. The screening panel comprised enteroinvasive bacteria ( Salmonella spp., Shigella spp./enteroinvasive Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Yersinia spp.), enteropathogenic protozoa ( Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., and Cyclospora cayetanensis), as well as enteric helminths ( Ancyclostoma spp., Ascaris lumbricoides, Enterobius vermicularis, Hyme-nolepis nana, Necator americanus, African Schistosoma spp., Strongyloides stercoralis, Taenia saginata, Taenia solium, and Trichuris trichiura).
G. duodenalis ( n = 3), C. jejuni ( n = 2), Salmonella spp. ( n = 1), Shigella spp./enteroinvasive E. coli ( n = 3), and S. stercoralis ( n = 3) were detect in 12 out of 133 (9.0%) police officers. The majority had shown gastrointestinal symptoms on deployment and all were asymptomatic at the time of medical assessment. The major infection sites were Sub-Saharan Africa followed by Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Deployment of police officers to tropical deployment sites on United Nations missions is associated with a considerable acquisition risk of gastrointestinal pathogens in a quantitatively relevant minority. Post-deployment screening is advisable to facilitate therapeutic and hygiene-related consequences.